Data interpretation: a cautionary tale
As much as strong datasets are a prerequisite for strong interpretations, the framework used to interpret data is equally important. Which contextual factors are considered or not, which definitions applied or thresholds used will strongly impact the message that will emerge, especially out of complex, geo-political settings. An in-depth knowledge and consideration of all background factors involved (context, actors and processes) is, hence, needed to allow meaningful, nuanced analyses – and to avoid the pitfall of confusing correlation for causation.
Take for instance Centre Delas’ “Interactive Map: European weapons and refugees”. The map should give you the “link between European arms export and flows of refugees and internally displaced persons, in order to determine whether there is any direct or indirect responsibility of EU Member States for situations of insecurity and violence that drive millions of people to flee their homes every year”. A simple, causal link is thereby suggested between EU arms-exporting countries and the responsibility for displacement and migration. Within their broad definition of ‘arms’ and without consideration of the reality of arms trade (whereby arms exports are often disguised by being notionally sent to a different destination), this causal link appears straightforward. However, as the reality is more complex, caution is needed.
Lets take the example of EU arms exports to Syria in 2015. According to this interactive map three EU countries authorized “arms” transfers to Syria in 2015 (Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom), and are, according to this map, therefore directly or indirectly responsible for the millions of refugees and internally displaced.
First of all, all arms shipments from Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic and Romania to the alleged end-users Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey are excluded as well as sales to the Pentagon. All these ‘end-users’ are known suppliers of arms and ammunition to armed groups in Syria (see for instance The £1bn of weapons flowing from Europe to Middle East, 27 July 2016, The Guardian). De facto these EU countries should also be considered as exporting into Syria.
Secondly, the end-use is ignored. The United Kingdom in its annual export report for 2015 reported an intended humanitarian end-use (bullet proof vests, components for armoured vehicles) or commercial/civilian end-use (industrial generators) (1). Germany shipped cross-country vehicles and parts for ballistic protection for the United Nations mission (UNICEF) in Syria (2). Belgium shipped secondhand Zettelmeyer digging machines for civilian end-use (3). Their role as ‘arms traders’, hence, should be nuanced.
This brief example demonstrates that one has to be careful with trying to deduce causality between these two data sets (EU “arms” exports and refugees), especially as they are presented in this study.
- Strategic Export Controls: Country Pivot Report, 1st January 2015-31st December 2015, Department for International Trade, October 2017.
- Bericht der Bundesregierung über ihre Exportpolitik für konventionelle Rüstungsgüter im Jahre 2016, Rüstungsexportbericht 2016, Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie, June 2016.
- Jaarverslag 2015, Twaalfde jaarverslag van de Vlaamse Regering aan het Vlaams Parlement over de toegekende vrijstellingen en de toegekende en geweigerde vergunningen voor de in-, uit-, doorvoer en overbrenging van defensiegerelateerde producten, ander voor militair gebruik dienstig materiaal, ordehandhavingsmateriaal, civiele vuurwapens, onderdelen en munitie, Departement Internationaal Vlaanderen, s.a.
Interactive Map: European weapons and Refugees | 7 November 2017 | Centre Delas
The purpose of this interactive map is to highlight the link between European arms export and flows of refugees and internally displaced persons, in order to determine whether there is any direct or indirect responsibility of EU Member States for situations of insecurity and violence that drive millions of people to flee their homes every year. A second objective of this tool is to stress their (ir)responsibility in European arms export authorization or realization as well as their inadequate compliance of the existing legislation, established by the Common Position 2008/944/CFSP of December 8, 2008, which sets up 22 weapons categories including ammunition, light weapons, aircraft and warships, military transport vehicles and all types of military technology for military purposes. On the basis of the criteria set out in the Common Position, the relationship between the European legislation on arms export and situations of insecurity leading to movements of refugees and displaced persons can be established.
Global Militarization Index 2017 | 1 December 2017 | BICC
Compiled by BICC, the Global Militarization Index (gmi) presents on an annual basis the relative weight and importance of a country’s military apparatus in relation to its society as a whole. The GMI 2017 covers 151 states and is based on the latest available figures (in most cases data for 2016). The index project is financially supported by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Nigeria committed to strengthening borders to stop influx of illicit weapons | 25 October 2017 | Vanguard
Nigeria is committed to strengthening its borders against the influx of illicit weapons into the country, particularly, Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALWs). Mr Kingsley Weinoh, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the UN, stated this while delivering Nigeria’s statement at the ‘Thematic Debate of the UN Committee on Conventional Weapons’ in New York.
ECOWAS urged to set up in-depth small arms database | 27 October 2017 | Ghanaian Times | Business Ghana
The Minister for the Interior, Ambrose Dery has stressed the need for countries in the sub-region to establish comprehensive database systems of small arms and light weapons. This, he said would facilitate prompt and effective tracing of illicit arms and prevent their diversion that continue to fuel organised crimes, armed conflicts and other criminal activities in the sub-region.
Over 2 000 weapons stolen from SA Police armouries | 31 October 2017 | DefenceWeb
More than 500 firearms a year have been stolen from SA Police Service armouries over the last four years. This means two thousand and twenty-seven guns went missing from armouries where firearms are supposedly under safekeeping, the reply to a parliamentary question posted by Democratic Alliance (DA) shadow deputy police minister, Dianne Kohler Barnard, reveals.
How Police Guns Have Been Fueling KZN’s Taxi and Political Killings and Cape Town’s Gang Wars | 2 November 2017 | News24Wire | AllAfrica
Stolen police firearms – some pilfered several years ago, but which are still in circulation – are being used in politically-motivated shootings, gang hits and taxi violence.
Arms importation: Nigerian Customs Introduces Strategy to Streamline Goods Clearance | 3 November 2017 | This Day Live
Following the recent illegal flow of arms into the country, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) is set to introduce the Authorised Economic Operators (AEO) as means to curtail importation of such dangerous ammunitions into the country.
Tchad : un avion impliqué dans un trafic présumé d’armes | 6 November 2017 | BBC
Quatre cabinets d’avocat réputés du Tchad, se constituent pour défendre Mathias TSARSI, PDG de la compagnie aérienne tchadienne Air-Inter one, le directeur général de l’ADAC, Autorité de l’Aviation Civile ainsi que leurs collaborateurs.
La France pourrait enfin approuver la vente au Togo de 5 hélicoptères d’attaque de type Gazelle | 7 November 2017 | Agence Ecofin
Le gouvernement français pourrait bientôt approuver la vente de 5 hélicoptères d’attaque de type Gazelle destinés à l’armée de l’air du Togo, rapporte le site spécialisé sur les questions de défense Jane’s 360.
Elite power struggle causing illegal Nigerian trade in arms | 8 November 2017 | Daily Post
The National President, Nigerian Anthropological and Sociological Practitioners Association (NASA), Professor Folashade Okeshola, has declared that increase in corruption and unhealthy struggle for power among the political elites are the major cause of illegal trade in firearms in Nigeria.
L’armée égyptienne détruit 10 véhicules remplis d’armes près de la frontière libyenne | 23 November 2017 | Xinhua | Africatime
Les forces aériennes égyptiennes ont détruit dix véhicules remplis d’armes et de munitions de contrebande à la frontière entre l’Égypte et la Libye, a déclaré mercredi un porte-parole de l’armée.
Cameroun – Un traité à ratifier pour lutter contre Boko Haram | 24 November 2017 | L’oeil du Sahel | Camer
Recevoir le soutien des Etats parties au Traité sur le commerce des armes (TCA) et continuer de bénéficier du soutien qu’elle a reçu jusqu’ici de la part de la communauté internationale dans la lutte contre Boko Haram.
Are West Africa’s gunsmiths making violence cheap? | 27 November 2017 | Institute for Security Studies | ReliefWeb
If Africa wants to ‘silence the guns’, its leaders must take a closer look at locally manufactured weapons.
Le nord de la RCA transformé en marché d’armes par les rebelles Djandjawids | 29 November 2017 | Africatime.com
Les rebelles soudanais qui se sont infiltrés en masse dans les zones au nord-est de la RCA ont transformé la ville de Ndélé, chef-lieu de la préfecture de Bamingui Bangoran, en un marché d’armes, selon divers témoignages recueillis auprès de plusieurs habitants.
Collaboration plus étroite avec l’industrie de l’armement | 4 December 2017 | République Togolaise
Des représentants de neuf pays africains participent de lundi à mercredi à Lomé à une réunion consacrée à la mise en œuvre du Traité sur le commerce des armes (TCA).
El Ejército Argentino adquiere más sistemas antitanque Carl Gustaf y AT4CS | 31 October 2017 | Infodefensa
Mediante una compra directa, realizada por la oficina del attache militar del Ejército Argentino en Washington, DC, se ha informado de la adquisición de más armas antitanque y sistemas asociados.
Liberal bill leaves major hole in Arms Trade Treaty obligations, study says | 1 November 2017 | The Globe & Mail
A new study says the Trudeau government’s effort to comply with a global arms trade treaty is fundamentally flawed because legislation drafted by the Liberals is written in such a way that it allows Ottawa to export military goods to human rights abusers or foreign conflicts without hard constraints.
Former politician Andrew Feinstein wants Canadians to know the real cost of the global arms trade | 1 November 2017 | Straight Talk
For Andrew Feinstein, the arms trade is something he takes very personally. As an African National Congress member of the South African National Assembly from 1994 to 2001, he witnessed the horrific impact of this international business on his country. In 1999 Feinstein’s homeland was in the midst of an unimaginable HIV crisis when the government decided to spend $6.2 billion on a so-called strategic-defence package. It’s a deal that has been marred by serious allegations of corruption ever since.
El Ejército Argentino adquiere rifles Steyr, radares Thales y telémetros Vector | 4 November 2017 | Infodefensa
Mediante tres compras directas, realizadas por la oficina del agregado militar del Ejército Argentino en Washington, DC, se ha informado de la adquisición de rifles antimaterial Steyr, radares Thales y telémetros Vector.
Cavim consolida acuerdos comerciales con Rosoboronexport y Technopromexport | 5 November 2017 | Infodefensa
Directivos de la estatal Compañía Anónima Venezolana de Industrias Militares (Cavim) y representantes las empresas rusas Rosoboronexport y Technopromexport se reunieron en Caracas a fin de consolidar acuerdos en materia de cooperación técnico-militar.
Pentagon’s chief buyer wants to speed up foreign arms sales | 9 November 2017 | Reuters
The Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer is eager to speed up foreign military sales to allies, and boost the profits and financial health of U.S. defense contractors, she told reporters ahead of her trip this week to the Dubai Airshow.
How the Honduran military and police profit from the illegal arms trade | 9 November 2017 | Transparency International
Honduras has one of the highest homicide rates in the world. Guns are used in 75 per cent of these crimes. An investigation by InSight Crime and Transparency International Honduras (also known as La Asociación para una Sociedad más Justa) has found that many of these guns come from Honduran military and police stockpiles.
Argentina compra cinco Super Etendard a Francia por 12,5 millones de euros | 13 November 2017 | Infodefensa
Tras meses de rumores, ya es completamente oficial: Argentina ha cerrado la compra de cinco Super Étendard Modernise (SEM) al fabricante francés Dassault por 12,5 millones de euros. Las aeronaves llegarán en diciembre a Argentina y lo harán por mar.
Canada Can’t Pass This Highly Flawed Arms Trade Bill As Is | 17 November 2017 | Huffington Post
With each passing day, Canada’s sale to Saudi Arabia of $15 billion worth of light armoured vehicles looks more and more indefensible. A damning Globe and Mail survey in September confirmed what the media and political opponents had been saying for years: 64 per cent of Canadians “opposed” or “somewhat opposed” the sale of arms to a country notorious for its human rights abuses.
Venezuela y Bielorrusia fortalecen la cooperación militar bilateral | 18 November 2017 | Infodefensa
Venezuela y Bielorrusia instalaron una mesa de trabajo para tratar aspectos relacionados con los acuerdos de cooperación técnico-militar suscritos entre ambas naciones. El encuentro tuvo lugar en Caracas, entre los días 13 y 14 de noviembre.
Understanding arms trafficking in Colombia | 20 November 2017 | ¡Pacifista! | Open Democracy
In Colombia, more than 70% of the homicides are committed with firearms coming from at least twenty countries. Their main recipients are drug traffickers and criminal gangs.
США вже продають Україні зброю – ексклюзив «Голосу Америки» (USA selling weapons to Ukraine) | 22 November 2017 | Voice of America (Ukraine)
‘Defensive’ RPGs: US firm supplied Ukraine with lethal weapons for 1 year | 24 November 2017 | Russia Today
The United States is already selling lethal weapons to Ukraine. As correspondents of Voice of America found out, the company from Texas AirTronic USA, having received a license, supplies grenade launchers to Ukraine. (Copy contract here)
Canada’s transparency in arms sales should apply to our biggest customer | 27 November 2017 | Andrew Stobo Sniderman | The Globe and Mail
The federal government says its new legislation to implement the international Arms Trade Treaty will increase transparency and accountability. That would be welcome news, given that we are talking about how Canada sells weapons that kill people. Unfortunately, the proposed legislation leaves an exception as big as the rule.
Fiscal Year 2017 Sales Total $41.93B | 28 November 2017 | U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency
US arms sales jump 25 percent in FY 2017 | 30 November 2017 | DefenceWeb
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announces sales of $41.93 billion for Fiscal Year 2017. The total sales include $6.04 billion of cases funded by the State Department’s Foreign Military Financing; $3.87 billion in cases funded under Defense Department authorities; and $32.02 billion funded by partner nations through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system.
Fábrica de fusiles Kaláshnikov en Venezuela: Una empresa que levanta suspicacias en el mundo entero | 3 December 2017 | ElSalvador.com
Recientemente el vicepresidente del Área Económica, Wilmar Castro Soteldo, informó que en 2018 Venezuela abrirá la primera fábrica de producción de fusiles Kaláshnikov, un anuncio que formuló luego de una reunión que sostuvo la comisión intergubernamental ruso-venezolana.
La industria de Defensa colombiana: Ejército | 4 December 2017 | Infodefensa
Centrados en potencializar el desarrollo del sector industrial de la defensa nacional, en sus ámbitos público y particular, el Ministerio de la Defensa de Colombia, a través de su Grupo Social y Empresarial de la Defensa (GSED), ha venido promoviendo intensivamente el desarrollo de esas nuevas iniciativas tecnológicas materializadas en el diseño de productos, sistemas y soluciones –de uso dual, en gran medida- y con las cuales puedan satisfacerse las necesidades de las Fuerzas Armadas de esta nación, sino también con las cuales promover la marca “Made in Colombia” en los mercados regionales y principalmente a través de eventos especializados como la Feria Internacional de Defensa y Seguridad Expodefensa 2017.
BAE Systems vende al Ejército colombiano el primer obús L119 de 105mm y ofrece el M777 de 155mm | 4 December 2017 | Infodefensa
La compañía BAE Systems ha firmado recientemente el contrato para el suministro de un obús ligero del tipo L119 de 105 milímetros, para el Ejército de Colombia, que llegará a este país durante el curso del presente mes de diciembre.
La industria de Defensa colombiana: Fuerza Aérea | 5 December 2017 | Infodefensa
La Fuerza Aérea Colombiana (FAC) ha venido desarrollando una serie de procesos de mantenimiento y de modernización de sus plataformas de ala fija y giratoria, con el ánimo de mantener en máximos estándares los niveles operativos de su flota.
CMI lleva a Bogotá su propuesta para modernizar las torretas de los EE-9 Cascavel de Colombia | 5 December 2017 | Infodefensa
La empresa CMI Defence estará también presente en Bogotá, en la próxima Feria Internacional de Defensa y Seguridad, Expodefensa 2017, con un amplio portafolio de productos entre los que se destacan su torreta Cockerill Serie 3000 (3030-3040-3105) y su cañón del tipo Mk3.
La industria de Defensa colombiana: Armada | 6 December 2017 | Infodefensa
En un proceso auspiciado industrialmente por el astillero Corporación de Ciencia y Tecnología para el Desarrollo de la Industria Naval, Marítima y Fluvial Colombiana (Cotecmar), la Armada de la República de Colombia (ARC) comenzó desde hace más de una década el desarrollo de su denominado Planeamiento de Fuerza a 2035 (PF2035), hoja de ruta en la que ha establecido de manera determinada los pasos, tiempos y recursos necesarios para poder crear una efectiva y eficaz Fuerza Defensiva Oceánica (FDO).
Rusia anuncia que ha cumplido los contratos de suministro de armas a Venezuela | 6 December 2017 | Infodefensa
Rusia ha anunciado el cumplimiento de todos los contratos de suministro de armas y equipos militares a Venezuela en el contexto de los créditos otorgados. El anuncio lo realizó el director adjunto del Servicio Federal para la Cooperación Técnico-Militar, Anatoli Punchuk.
La Policía de Investigaciones de Chile adquiere 63 pistolas Glock calibre 40 | 7 December 2017 | Infodefensa
El Departamento de Apoyo Logístico (DAL) de la Polícia de Investigaciones de Chile (PDI) adjudicó a la empresa Glock International S.A. el suministro de 63 pistolas calibre .40 de tres modelos distintos por la suma de 46.500 dólares.
Oaxaca Aerospace avanza en el desarrollo de un avión militar 100% mexicano | 7 December 2017 | Infodefensa
Kelly Johnson, uno de los prodigios de la ingeniería aeronáutica, solía decir que “quien diseña aviones también debe volarlos”. En México, mas concretamente en Oaxaca Aerospace, le han tomado la palabra y el grupo de pilotos que la integran trabaja para dar vida al avión Pegasus, un proyecto para introducir al mercado una aeoronave rentable y multiuso, un avión de diseño y manufactura mexicana.
Israel maintains robust arms trade with rogue regimes | 23 October 2017 | Al Jazeera | The Mail and Guardian
Human rights activists are stepping up efforts to expose Israel’s long and covert history of supplying weapons and military training to regimes while they actively commit massacres, ethnic cleansing and genocide. The issue of Israel’s trade with rogue regimes has been thrust into the spotlight again after revelations that it is sending weapons to Myanmar , in defiance of a US and European arms embargo.
Foreign Minister pushes back against reports of Israeli arms sales to Myanmar | 24 October 2017 | The Jerusalem Post
Facing a slew of highly critical reports of alleged Israeli arms sales to Myanmar, the Foreign Ministry issued a statement Monday that “vigorously denies false reports disseminated in the media regarding its alleged involvement in the tragedy in the Rakhine region of Myanmar.” Haaretz reported on Monday that “Israel sold advanced weapons to Myanmar during its anti-Rohingya Ethnic Cleansing campaign,” and the Al Jazeera web site published a story titled “Israel maintains robust arms trade with rogue regimes.”
Uzbekistan to Relaunch Defense Industry with Turkish Joint Venture | 27 October 2017 | Eurasianet
Uzbekistan will produce more than 1,000 armored vehicles in a joint venture with Turkey, a deal finalized during a visit by Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to Ankara.
Port area new hub for arms trade | 3 November 2017 | Times of India
During the interrogation of Tamil Nadu supari killer S Sendril Chandran, who was arrested from the West Port area recently , he claimed that he was there to procure weapons. More importantly , the accused, charged with at least six murders, claimed that he had been supplying illegal weapons to criminals based in Tamil Nadu from Kolkata.
The Trumped-Up Syria-Sarin Case | 4 November 2017 | Consortium News
As Israel threatens an expanded war against Syria and Lebanon, an emotional justification is the alleged April 4 sarin attack that was blamed on the Syrian government despite huge holes in the evidence, as Rick Sterling reports.
Murky business: Australia’s defence industry is growing, but at what cost? | 4 November 2017 | The Sydney Morning Herald
This year’s Avalon Air Show in Geelong was the first chance for the public to see the long-delayed Joint Strike Fighter in action. At a cost of at least $100 million per aircraft, Canberra is slated to spend $17 billion on 72 F-35s in the coming years.
The Messaging App Fueling Syria’s Insurgency | 6 November 2017 | Foreign Policy
In rebel-held Syria, access to the weapons you need to wage an insurgency are just a tap away thanks to an encrypted messaging app. The Islamic State may be in retreat, but other militants in Syria have been trading thousands of weapons in publicly accessible black markets hosted on Telegram, including dozens of U.S. military assault rifles and parts for the same kind of anti-tank missile systems distributed by the CIA to anti-Bashar al-Assad rebels. Foreign Policy conducted an exclusive investigation to determine the scale of these arms markets, and where the weapons that ended up on them originated.
Be’er Sheva Mayor Threatens Rights Group Over Israeli Arms Industry Discussion | 8 November 2017 | Haaretz
The mayor of Be’er Sheva said Tuesday he would ask the courts to ban a coexistence group from holding events at a municipal bomb shelter in the southern city if the group proceeds with its plan to discuss the Israeli arms industry at an upcoming meeting.
Israel’s Explanation for Arming Myanmar During Ethnic Cleansing Campaign: ‘Both Sides Committing War Crimes’ | 9 November 2017 | Haaretz
“The two sides in the conflict are conducting war crimes” in Myanmar’s Rohingya crisis, an Israeli diplomat told six American rabbis who voiced concern about reports of Israeli arms sales to the Southeast Asain country.
Les Occidentaux arment Bahreïn, la population en paie le prix | 9 November 2017 | Orient XXI
Les autorités bahreïnies ont annoncé au mois d’octobre la signature d’un marché de plusieurs milliards de dollars avec l’américain Lockheed Martin pour la livraison de 16 avions de combat F-16, et multiplient les accords de coopération militaires avec plusieurs pays. Une militarisation accélérée qui vise notamment à acheter le silence international sur les violations des droits humains et la participation de Bahreïn à la coalition dirigée par l’Arabie saoudite au Yémen. Pendant ce temps, la population, mécontente, subit les conséquences de l’augmentation record de la dette publique.
L’Arménie et Israël ont discuté de la vente d’armes à l’Azerbaïdjan | 13 November 2017 | Nouvelle Arménie Magazine
L’Arménie a tenu des discussions “très ouvertes et positives“ avec Israël concernant les ventes à grande échelle d’armes fabriquées par Israël en Azerbaïdjan, a déclaré le ministre des Affaires étrangères, Edouard Nalbandian, lors d’une visite officielle à Jérusalem la semaine dernière.
Israeli Parliamentarian Criticizes Israeli Arms Export Policy | 26 November 2017 | CacalisTech
Tamar Zandberg, a member of the Israeli parliament, referred in a Facebook post to a July incident in which Israel-based UAV manufacturer Aeronautics had allegedly carried out a live demonstration of one of its suicide drones on an Armenian army post, at the request of its client, the Azerbaijani army.
Pakistan needs coherent policy on defence exports | 27 November 2017 | Quwa
Pakistan’s Defence Export Promotion Organization (DEPO) is jointly hosting a two-day seminar with the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI). Titled, “Pakistan’s Defence Industry: Export Potential, Challenges and Prospects,” the seminar aims to pose and address central questions regarding Pakistan’s efforts to expand its defence industry. In particular, DEPO hopes to focus on Pakistan’s efforts to secure a greater share of the global arms trade market, which has managed $1.69 trillion U.S. in worldwide expenditure in 2016.
The Cover-Up Of Australian Arms Sales To Saudi Arabia | 1 December 2017 | Newmatilda.com
As the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen spirals out of control – in part a consequence of Australia’s support for a Saudi-led siege on the country – it is worth cataloguing the government’s lies about why it won’t disclose military exports to Saudi Arabia. The government approved four military exports to Saudi Arabia last year, and five more permits were approved since June this year. In response to public questioning, it has refused to disclose anything about those exports.
Super Tucanos are finally Philippines bound | 1 December 2017 | Shephard Media
On the final day of November, the Brazilian aerospace company Embraer announced that it had been awarded ‘a firm order’ of six A-29 Super Tucano light attack and advanced training aircraft for the Philippine Air Force (PAF).
Des milliers d’armes saisies en Arabie Saoudite à la frontière yéménite | 1 December 2017 | VOA Afrique
Les autorités saoudiennes ont annoncé avoir saisi des milliers d’armes à la frontière avec le Yémen en guerre et arrêté de nombreuses personnes qui tentaient de s’infiltrer dans le royaume.
Pakistan’s collaboration with Poland over critical military equipment on cards | 3 December 2017 | Pakistan Today
The possibility of Pakistan striking a deal with Polish Armaments Group (Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa, PGZ) over collaboration in the provision of critical military equipment may just be in play after a successful meeting between delegations from both countries.
China to allow more private capital in military industry | 5 December 2017 | China Daily
China will allow more private capital in the shares of military enterprises to deepen military-civilian integration, according to a guideline issued by the State Council.
Uzi: The Israeli Machine Gun That Conquered the World | 5 December 2017 | Scout.com
One of the most recognizable weapons of the postwar era came from one of the newest nation-states. The Uzi submachine gun was designed to be a simple, inexpensive weapon that would overcome the logistical problems of a ragtag army turning professional. In doing so it became a commercial success, exported far and wide and a legend among postwar small arms.
Middle East the primary destination for record Finnish arms exports in 2016 | 23 October 2017 | YLE
Nearly 63 percent of Finnish arms exports went to countries in the Middle East in 2016, according to a new report out Monday. The think tank SaferGlobe says that states in the region purchased 84 million of a record 133.4 million euros in military equipment sold by Finland.
Répression en Egypte: pourquoi la France garde-t-elle le silence ? | 23 October 2017 | Amnesty International France | Libération
Alors que l’on assiste aux violations des droits humains en Egypte, Emmanuel Macron s’apprête à recevoir le maréchal Abdel Fattah al-Sissi et pourrait ne prendre aucune mesure pour contrôler les transferts d’armes.
Wem gehört eigentlich Heckler & Koch? | 26 October 2017 | Welt
er ehemalige Geschäftsführer von Heckler & Koch, Nicola Marinelli (61), behauptet, dass das Rüstungsunternehmen heimlich den Mehrheitsaktionär gewechselt hat. Das berichtet das Wirtschaftsmagazin BILANZ in seiner neuen Ausgabe. Falls die Vorwürfe stimmen, liegt ein Gesetzesverstoß vor. Für Eigentümerwechsel bei Rüstungsfirmen ist eine Erlaubnis der Bundesregierung erforderlich.
German arms exports – what you need to know | 29 October 2017 | DW
German weaponmakers have complained that tensions with Turkey are hurting business, but what’s the truth? DW takes a look at deals for arms that German manufacturers have made with countries around the world.
Airbus’s legal troubles grow amid inaccurate U.S. arms trade filings | 31 October 2017 | Reuters
Airbus said on Tuesday it had uncovered inaccuracies in its filings to U.S. regulators over arms technology sales, drawing the United States for the first time into a scandal over alleged misconduct at Europe’s largest aerospace firm.
Exporter des armes dans les pays en guerre civile? | 4 November 2017 | Tribune de Genève
Des entreprises suisses d’armement souhaitent pouvoir exporter leurs produits aussi dans des pays connaissant des conflits armés intérieurs. La commission de politique de sécurité du Conseil des Etats à laquelle elles se sont adressées les a invitées à s’exprimer.
Probe call after arms trade firms exposed in Whitehall | 5 November 2017 | Sunday Post
ARMS firms whose weapons have been linked to alleged war crimes have staff working at the heart of the UK Government, we can reveal. Seven multinationals had employees seconded to Whitehall in the past 14 months and politicians yesterday demanded an inquiry into the blurred lines between the Government and arms exporters.
UK sales of bombs and missiles to Saudi Arabia increase by almost 500% since start of Yemen war | 8 November 2017 | The Independent
The number of British-made bombs and missiles sold to Saudi Arabia since the start of its bloody campaign in Yemen has risen by almost 500 per cent, The Independent can reveal. More than £4.6bn of arms were sold in the first two years of bombings, with the Government grant increasing numbers of export licences despite mounting evidence of war crimes and massacres at hospitals, schools and weddings.
Job creation would solve one problem with the UK’s burgeoning military-industrial complex | 8 November 2017 | Open Democracy
Britain needs a different kind of security that looks at the root causes of violence. The need for jobs mustn’t be used to perpetuate the powerful lobby that is the defence industry.
Call for investigation after arms firms links to Whitehall exposed | 9 November 2017 | The Ferret
A US arms company linked to alleged war crimes in Yemen had an employee working at the Department of International Trade while a legal case over British arms sales to Saudi Arabia was ongoing.
The Case for Providing Lethal Military Aid to Ukraine | 9 November 2017 | European Leadership Network
The Trump administration’s recent signals about revisiting President Obama’s decision not to supply lethal weapons to Ukraine should be considered in the context of a renewed system of U.S.-Russia relations. This “reconfiguration” is being played in and around Ukraine, and it includes a combination of intimidation and threats, as well as barter proposals tabled by both parties. Providing Ukraine with lethal weapons is being used by Washington as a means to threaten Moscow, and should be seen against the current backdrop of antagonistic relations and broader challenges to European security.
State Border Service launches joint project with OSCE to counter illicit arms trade | 11 November 2017 | Interfax Ukraine
The administration of the State Border Service of Ukraine has discussed the conditions and agreed on a roadmap for launching a joint project with the OSCE Secretariat on combating illicit trafficking in arms, ammunition and explosives on Ukraine’s state border, according to a statement posted on the official website of the State Border Service.
Jobs, jobs, jobs – how to divert away from the industrial military complex in the UK | 12 November 2017 | Open Democracy
There is talk of ghost towns if UK defence jobs are threatened, but are these the only ghost towns that should concern us?
Germany quintuples arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Egypt | 14 November 2017 | DW
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration has been criticized for massively increasing arms sales to Middle East dictatorships Saudi Arabia and Egypt. One opposition lawmaker branded the trade “reprehensible.”
Q&A with German MP Stefan Liebich: Revealing German arms exports to Egypt | 16 November 2017 | Mada
Germany’s arms export policy in the Middle East came under fire from the country’s opposition MPs and media outlets this week. In reply to a parliamentary inquiry submitted by Stefan Liebich, a left-wing Die Linke party MP, the German government confirmed that it had authorized weapons and arms exports worth 1.27 billion euros in the third quarter of 2017, 871 million euros of which are due to be exported to non-European Union or non-NATO states.
Georgia – Javelin Missiles and Command Launch Units | 20 November 2017 | United States Defense Security Cooperation Agency
The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Georgia for Javelin Missiles and Command Launch Units for an estimated cost of $75 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on November 17, 2017.
Amnesty discovers gruesome illegal torture equipment for sale in Paris | 22 November 2017 | Amnesty International
Amnesty International researchers have discovered illegal torture equipment including spiked batons, spiked electric shock riot forks, electric shock vests and heavy leg irons for sale by Chinese companies at Milipol, a military and police trade fair taking place this week in Paris.
Tory MPs accused of ‘perks for questions’ over Saudi Arabia visit | 25 November 2017 | Middle East Eye
Conservative MPs have accepted nearly £100,000 ($133,300) in luxury hotel stays, business class flights and hospitality from Saudi Arabia this year, prompting a complaint to Parliament’s standards watchdog for a potential breach of the rules on declaring financial interests, Middle East Eye can reveal.
As pressures mount over the funding of UK defence, has a ‘fog of war’ descended over the arms industry? | 25 November 2017 | The Telegraph
A fortnight ago, defence company Ultra Electronics dropped a bombshell on the stock market with an after-hours profit warning, which sent shockwaves through Britain’s arms industry.
FOIs reveal Scottish Enterprise is still giving public money to arms companies involved in Yemen, Syria and Egypt | 27 November 2017 | CommonSpace
Scottish Enterprise gave £518,595 in 2016-17 to companies in the arms trade whose equipment has been used in conflicts in the Middle East
The Belarusian arms business: new deals and old collisions | 27 November 2017 | Belarus Digest
On 14 November, key Belarusian arms exporter Beltech Export signed a deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Belarusian firm has agreed to maintain and modernise Emirati radars. This means that Minsk has successfully entered a new market, as it has never sold air defence-related products or services to Arab monarchies before.
Anger over Greek plan to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia | 28 November 2017 | Al Jazeera
A political dispute in Greece over a controversial arms deal with Saudi Arabia is deepening, with opposition politicians and critics decrying plans to sell 66m euros ($78.7m) worth of surplus missiles and bombs to the Arab Gulf country.
French Finance Ministry allows Egypt’s new Rafale fighter plane contract to progress | 28 November 2017 | Arab News
Egypt’s purchase of 12 Dassault Rafale fighter jets from France looks to be going ahead, allaying Cairo’s fears that the French Ministry for the Economy and Finance (Bercy) would block the deal.
Russia seeks closer military-technical cooperation with UAE | 28 November 2017 | Al Monitor
Russia would like to sign up the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as a customer for its GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System) offering, possibly as a prelude to more deals with the UAE. Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov discussed the possibility during his Nov. 26 talks with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as part of Moscow’s broader military-technical and economic outreach to the UAE.
Die brisanten DDR-Waffenexporte an internationale Terroristen | 29 November 2017 | Welt
Offiziell schimpfte das SED-Regime auf den Rüstungsexport der Bundesrepublik. Insgeheim verhökerte Ost-Berlin jedoch Kriegsgerät für Devisen – manchmal auch in einem laufenden Krieg an beide Seiten.
Danish vessel KARINA DANICA suspect in arms trade, stirs protest | 29 November 2017 | Maritime Bulletin
Sardinia activists protest against turning Cagliari into an arms trade hub, after Danish freighter KARINA DANICA arrived at Cagliari port on Nov 28 under tight security, escorted by three tugs and CG boat.
France takes first delivery of anti-tank guided weapon | 4 December 2017 | Defence Connect
A defence company offering its anti-tank guided weapon (ATGW) for Australia’s LAND 400 Phase 2 project has had its system accepted by France’s defence procurement agency, the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA).